Ohio State-Michigan State Night Game Gains Traction

By Kyle Rowland on March 3, 2014 at 11:22a

In an interview with the Toledo Blade, Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith said he would be in favor of a night game in East Lansing this November. The Buckeyes take on the defending Big Ten champion Michigan State Spartans Nov. 8.

The Big Ten has had a long-standing policy against playing night games in November due to the possibility of cold temperatures. But the league is beginning to soften its stance. 

Primetime games attract the most eyeballs, gaining sought-after attention for the conference and its programs. 

"That would be Michigan State's call. They would call us and ask if we would be willing to do it, and I'd probably say yes," Smith told The Blade. "[Michigan State] would get the first call. If they feel like they can handle that up there, then we'd be supportive of it.

"A lot of times you have to defer to the operations locally. If we were playing them here, we would do it. I think we could handle that magnitude of a game. That's technically the second Saturday in November, but you're only talking by a couple of days."

A Michigan State spokesman did not respond to a message for comment on the school’s plans. The Big Ten releases its primetime schedule in the spring. 

The influx of night games combined with a cold-weather Super Bowl have made the Big Ten's policy look stodgy and antiquated, especially with the rival SEC ruling Saturday night.  


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Buckeye Chuck's picture

Is Smith serious? Of course Michigan State is going to want this! It inflates what's already a home field advantage.

Bottom line, if we agree to this, we'd better win. I don't like the idea of a primetime game in East Lansing deciding a berth in the B1G championship. 

The most "loud mouth, disrespect" poster on 11W.

-1 HS
Kyle Rowland's picture

Night games fall under the unwritten rule category. You don't turn them down when asked. If so, you're inundated with criticism and probably won't get a home night game when you want one. If the roles were reversed, I don't think Ohio State fans would take one second to start lobbing complaints at Michigan State for refusing to play in Ohio Stadium at night. 

Nutinpa's picture

And that is exactly what the stakes of this game are likely to be ....at night...primetime in their stadium.... if it turns out this way. 

Chief B1G Dump's picture

This game SHOULD be prime time at night!

The 2 B1G titans of late posturing for a playoff spot with eyeballs and perception points late in the season.  We need some good fist fights in tough environments before the title bout...literally and figuratively.

Unless we should lose that game, then it was stupid of course...

+4 HS
Meaty19's picture

Just the thought of this as a possability makes me ^^^^^^^^^^^


Plus a night game in that type of atmosphere will only help the young guys in our playoff run!!

+1 HS
hodge's picture

It's really sad that this it's 2014 and the Big Ten is finally doing this.  Things like this underscore why we're so far behind the eight ball, and only now are starting to catch up.

+4 HS
Urban Ohio's picture

Better late than never. If not now, when?

Newcomerstown Trojans between Woody and Beaver.

AndyVance's picture

If not now, when?

The better question is, when will then be now?

+1 HS
buckeyeEddie27's picture

Revenge is a dish best served cold. 

Turn on the lights in East Lancing and let them eat cake.

I know there's a game Saturday, and my ass will be there.

+3 HS
BoFuquel's picture

This must happen. GO BUCKS!

I wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then.

+1 HS
Earle's picture


Have you tried Not Your Father's Root Beer?  It tastes just like the real thing, but it packs a punch (5.9%ABV).  It's a little sweet for me though.  Two is my limit.

+3 HS
Buckeye419er's picture

We'll leave them cold and lifeless on the field

There can be only one

Jbucks's picture

theres no better way to get even!!!! going into East Lansing, Cold weather, Night Game infront of the whole nation!!! everyone benefits from this game MSU gets the recruiting help they need by national recognition, OSU if wins get a signature win (assuming msu plays great d again next year) & the B1G gets exposure of possibly having a good team consistantly not named OSU... Its gotta happen!

Light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it-John 1:5 SEC meet Ohio State, Ohio State meet SEC

+1 HS
buckskin's picture

Smith putting it out there for MSU to think about it.  I like it.

+2 HS
CC's picture

I'm not sure why he would push for it.  OSU has enough hype assuming we win.  I actually think it would be a good thing if this was a noon snoozer.  I've never been to a game in East Lansing but if the difference between a day and night game is like it is at the Shoe, I say play at noon.  This is not to say that if I were Smith I wouldn't agree, but personally I would rather not make it more hostile.

kmp10's picture

The Big Ten has had a long-standing policy against playing night games in November due to the possibility of cold temperatures. But the league is beginning to soften its stance

Well no screamin eagle $hit… That November games in the B1G have yet to be played in prime time is just inane. The B1G sometimes conducts itself like MLB… full of self importance and a stubborn unwillingness to change. I'm a traditionalist. I'm the guy on here who's always saying "leave the uniform alone". At 50 years of age, I would guess I'm one the older commenters on here, but the B1G's issue with late season night games is beyond my ability to understand. Play Ohio State v TTUN at 8pm on ABC and watch the numbers go through the roof. It is a no brainer for the conference… in my opinion.

+3 HS
Nutinpa's picture

Night games in November are one thing.

But as another guy in his 50's.....I draw the line at playing THE GAME at night.  

1:00 or 3:30 gametime only.  And I don't ever recall it having a hardship with ratings or viewership unless there was nothing at stake to a casual viewer.  

Urban Ohio's picture

Nothing like being in the Shoe under the lights.

Newcomerstown Trojans between Woody and Beaver.

JohnnyKozmo's picture

I agree with THE GAME being at 8pm.  The problem is, that slot is reserved for games usually involving 2 ranked teams.  That means THE GAME won't be there anytime soon, thanks to TTUN.

Pain don't hurt-Dalton

sivaDavis's picture

A night game in Columbus against TTUN would be ABC ratings gold. That'd possibly be the absolute loudest game ever in The Shoe. I like a Noon kickoff but man I can't lie, a night game against them this year? Take my entire bank account and just give me a seat in the stadium, I don't even care. 

"I've had smarter people around me all my life, but I haven't run into one yet that can outwork me. And if they can't outwork you, then smarts aren't going to do them much good." - Woody Hayes

+1 HS
m5987usus's picture

Who decides the game is a night game or not? Is it the AD's or the head of the BIG Ten?  Thank you guys and Go Buckeyes!!


nburns18's picture

this would be huge for both teams. primetime national television showcasing the big ten in november. gotta have this happen

"You win with people." -Woody Hayes

Knarcisi's picture

Payback like a mo fo. 


beber1271990's picture

I don't understand who made this schedule and maybe someone here can tell me why, but we just went to East Lansing the year we went undefeated. And then obviously we didn't play them last year and now we're going back there again?

Nutinpa's picture

Yup.  And we've had teams come to the Shoe twice in a row...Penn State did in both 2010 and 2011.

Indiana will this year as well.  

beber1271990's picture

O I guess I never really pay attention to that. I only notice if we go to their place twice in a row lol

FROMTHE18's picture

we have more concerns with prepping for MSU than whether or not the game is at night. Im down with whenever they decide to play it. 

Ericgobucks's picture

I'm all for this. The BIG needs some showcase games nationally and in March this looks to be THE showcase game in the BIG this coming season. Now it's time for the passing game to actually be a first strike weapon instead of throwng all over weak teams then getting conservative down the stretch. Hyde was a legendary back this past season, but we won't have him to bail us out every big game.